12 Virtual Races to Add To Your Running Routine

5K, 10K and marathon races are on pause in 2020 but you can still get your fill of running fun at one of these virtual races put on by both local and national groups.

A group of people running a race

If you’re wondering what to do with your summer of off-the-couch training with few live races to run this fall, we’ve got you covered. Many races that raise money for breast cancer awareness or charities that donate food at Thanksgiving will let you run the fall races virtually, on your own time or your own treadmill. (Or, if you’re just in it for the cute swag, that’s worth it, too.) Find your next great race in the list below.

Local Races

Turtle Trot Virtual 5K

  • Cost: $25
  • Swag: T-shirt, Finisher’s Medal
  • Complete by: Sept. 26

Show your love of Michigan’s turtles — for which the race is named — with a race in your neighborhood or on your treadmill. Have a family member take a picture or two and share the hashtags #michigannature #raceMInature and #turtletrot. Money raised goes to the Michigan Nature Association.

Growler Gallop Atwater

  • Cost: $30-$68
  • Swag: Hoodie, Medal and Race Bib
  • Complete by: Sept. 25-Oct. 4

Run the 10K or 5K at home or on a designed course that ends at Atwater Brewery. When you complete the race, you can earn tickets for Atwater suds which can be redeemed between Sept. 25-Oct. 27, 2020.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Detroit

  • Cost: Donations
  • Complete by: Oct. 10

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer has several events leading up to race day and the website includes recommendations for activities for runners and walkers to help raise money. Families are encouraged to participate on Oct. 10 with the rest of the Strides community in southeast Michigan.

KDB Melanoma 5K

  • Cost: Donations
  • Swag: Virtual Swag Bag of recipes and information
  • Complete by: Oct. 11

In honor of a Milford woman who died of Melanoma, this group has raised awareness over 15 years of the event and hopes to raise $70,000 for cancer research. The race was originally scheduled for Oct. 11, but runners are encouraged to raise money before that date and participate at home.

Headless Horseman GRAVEYARD Challenge

  • Cost: $30
  • Swag: T-shirt
  • Complete by: Oct. 17-31

The 17-mile run typically takes place between graveyards in Marion Township, Howell and Oceola Township but this year, racers are encouraged to take their time. Bike, run, walk or roller skate to chip away at the 17 miles. Money raised benefits the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Foundation.

Hot Cocoa Classic 5K & Marshmallow Mountain Mile

  • Cost: $27-$55
  • Swag: T-shirt, Finisher’s Medal, Beanie (for runners who race both events)
  • Complete by: Nov. 7

The race at Mt. Brighton is both a virtual and actual race. For runners who prefer the virtual option, you can still choose between the classic 5K or the mile options. Or, you can run the double-shot by racing in both events.

Kroger A2 Turkey Trot

  • Cost: $37-$60
  • Swag: T-shirt, Finisher’s Medal, Beanie (for Iron Turkey participants)
  • Complete by: Nov. 14

Racers will line up at the Hudson Mills Metropark, or take the virtual option, which allows you to run a mile, 5K, 10K, Tin Foil Turkey (5K + mile) or Iron Turkey (5K + 10K) on your own. Money raised for the event is donated to Food Gatherers, which serves families in need in the Ann Arbor area. Food donations are also accepted, and donations of 20 cans or more will score you a cooler T-shirt.

National Races

I’m a Nightmare Before a Run 5K

  • Cost: $26.99-$39.99
  • Swag: T-shirt or Tank Top and Glow-In-The-Dark Finisher’s Medal
  • Complete by: No end date given

Though this national race can be done at any time, it has a Halloween theme and racers can add Jack-o-Lantern socks to their race order. Money raised benefits the Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski (CMAK) Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation.

Trick or Treat 5K for Breast Cancer Awareness

  • Cost: $27
  • Swag: T-shirt
  • Complete by: Oct. 31

Runners are encouraged to don a costume when running this 5K race in their neighborhoods or on their treadmills to scare away breast cancer. Money raised from the race supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

DC Wonder Woman Run

  • Cost: $40
  • Swag: Quarter-zip Jacket, Tote Bag, Wrist Cuffs, Finisher’s Medal and Race Bib.
  • Complete by: Nov. 1

What was once a local race has gone national. Complete the 5K or 10K race by Nov. 1 to qualify for a finisher’s certificate. At checkout, upgrade your packet to include a visor and/or cape socks to wear during your “official” run.

Gobbles’ Free Range 5K

  • Cost: $25-$35
  • Swag: Hoodie, Race Bib, Finisher’s Medal
  • Complete by: Nov. 22-29

If your local turkey trot race is canceled this year, take a trip around the block for the charity No Kid Hungry during this national race. You can team up with your family for an early morning Thanksgiving Day run and each member receives $5 off the entry cost.

Mom Needs a Run 5K

  • Cost: $26.99-$39.99
  • Swag: T-shirt or Tank Top and Spinning Finisher’s Medal
  • Complete by: No end date given

Moms can use any excuse they want to escape the house for a 5K around the block. This fundraiser supports Casey Cares Foundation, which provides activities for critically ill children.

This post was originally published in June 2020 and is updated regularly.

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